It seems rather cruel really, once I actually take time to stand still and reflect on it, that the woods which I have always been so drawn to, so loved, so enchanted by, and felt most alive within, might just in fact have been the very place where my life has been turned upside down.
Every person afflicted by Lyme disease without that telltale rash to recollect must wonder, must have that nagging desire to know, just where and how they met their fate.
I have loved the woods as long as I can remember. They have mystified me since childhood, from the days where my mother would walk us through the “tunnel of trees” into the main street of our sea lined town, and I would daydream about one day living in their boughed splendor. Until then, the fields enchanted me enough, and I would run and crouch and leap about in their hollows, catching crickets and giggling with friends. And then, as a growing adult, finally realizing that dream when my parents moved us to an island where I spent countless summers roaming through endless trails, along rocky shores, and climbing nearby mountains during day trip excursions. I have never not loved the wild, the great outdoors, and the freedom and life that it both offered…and then took. It never once occurred to me that the place where I felt most safe could also harbor so much danger. Yet, even so I must ask, are the woods really to blame? Is anyone?
I have two options in life, but really only one once I decisively cross out in red the place where I won’t even entertain to go. The only one option is gratitude. To turn what was meant to cause bitterness and worry and questions and so many “why’s” into thanks and praise for what is still good in this life, for the opportunity to turn what was meant for destruction into new life.
And that’s what I am really all about here, in this journey. To take the brokenness of a life that was lost, a life I’ve been struggling to put back together, and to bury it in the ashes it came from. To start over, with new fodder, and to create something out of the nothing that seems to remain. To show myself and others that there is more than what was lost, and maybe, just maybe, even something better.
Though the woods rejoice, they sing of something more to come..
Psalm 96 ESV
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12 let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13 before the Lord, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.